A smartphone application was less effective at correctly diagnosing malignant melanoma than clinical diagnosis by dermatologists, based on data from a study evaluating 195 melanocytic lesions.

The app, which used fractal image analysis, was 73% specific and 83% sensitive, whereas the dermatologists’ clinical examinations were 88% sensitive and 97% specific.

Both diagnostic methods’ results were compared to histopathologic analyses of the nevi. The histopathologic analyses found 40 melanomas, 42 dysplastic nevi, and 113 benign nevi.

“The smartphone application … might be a promising tool in the pre-evaluation of pigmented moles by laypersons,” although the current technology falls short, compared with clinical diagnosis by a dermatologist, according to the study’s researchers. Find the full study in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology ( doi:10.1111/jdv.12648 ).

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